Work Hard, Play Hard – An Interview with Monique Beeley of Outdoor Utah Adventure Guide

Pete CodellaArticles

This is the eighth and last in a series about women in the Utah outdoor recreation and adventure travel business. My name is Emilia Wint and I’m a member of the US Freeskiing Team. As a GOED intern, I’ve been traveling around the state to hear the stories of the women doing business in the coolest industry in Utah. Please note the opinions expressed by the interviewees do not necessarily represent those of GOED, but they promise to be interesting!

I caught up with Monique Beeley at Atticus, my favorite coffee shop in Park City. She is publisher of and the driving force behind the Outdoor Utah Adventure Guide, a print publication distributed nationally. She doesn’t take anything in Utah for granted and makes sure to spend time on snow, on her bike, and in the mountains, rivers, deserts, you name it! Her daughter is her favorite sidekick and we talked about old boys clubs, playing outside, a resurgence of print and bunnies.

Monique Beeley
Outdoor Utah
Park City, UT

  1. What brought you to Utah and why did you stay?

I grew up in Utah. I stayed for the abundance of recreation within a few hours’ drive of where I live. From Park City it takes two hours to get to Vernal and you can ride your bike in the winter, or you can stay home and ski. I also stayed so my daughter and I can be close to my family. Utah is just a really cool place. People don’t realize that it’s awesome.

  1. With all the other outdoor recreation companies based in Utah what made you decide to set up shop?

Everyone in tourism in Utah works together. It helps everyone wanting to start a business. They’re a team that wants to promote tourism in Utah and they do a great job.

  1. What is your niche market?

To promote Utah with a magazine that is primarily distributed to people out of state. Nobody else does that for the summer market. Our mailing list comes from Outside Magazine so we know we’re reaching the right market.

  1. What do you value about doing business in Utah?

The relationships I have with my peers in tourism and recreation. Our magazine is built on relationships and working together with other people. I love the people I work with and Utah is beautiful!

  1. As a woman in business, what are the challenges you face vs. those faced by your male counterparts?

Recreation is kind of a good ol’ boys club and outdoor adventure photography, which I do for the magazine, is male dominated. Older men have a different view than the younger ones, so it’s getting a little better.

  1. Are there aspects of your business in which you feel you have an advantage as a woman?

Yeah, there are loans and programs geared towards women for getting capital. I also have really good relationships with the other women I work with because we mentor and help each other.

  1. Now that you have an established business, can you look back and identify any misconceptions you had about starting an outdoor recreation-oriented company that turned out not to be true?

Selling ads is super difficult. It’s not an easy task and it continues to be difficult. In the beginning it didn’t seem like a “real” job. Fourteen years later this is my job and I’m really good at it. Doing something you love never feels like work. I’m testing the awesome product that is “Utah.”

  1. Would you recommend an outdoor enthusiast get into this business? What advice would you have for them? If not, why?

Yes! That’s a hard question. One thing with being in the magazine business is over the years we’ve had to change along with the internet. Five years ago we saw sales decline, but the last three years, we had record years. People want a physical magazine. Print is not dead!

  1. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made with your business? How did you recover? What did you learn? Would you change anything if you could go back?

Being too trusting. Always have a written contract. I don’t want to sound skeptical but at the end of the day, you need to protect yourself. Do the research, know your rights, make sure you’re doing things right. People take care of themselves when it comes down to it, not you.

  1. What do you tell people when they ask what it’s like to live in Utah?

There’s an abundance of outdoor recreation, and we have a collection of landscapes that change completely throughout the state.

  1. What is the best advice your parents have given you?

I’ve gone the other direction from their advice, but they taught me to treat others the way you would like to be treated. They’re big on that. Be fair. Have a retirement account.

  1. What is the last book you read?

A chapter book for my daughter. Something about a bunny.